“Jesus, I’ll Never Forget…”

Her deeply etched and wrinkled face was smiling and her finger tapped a beat that was inside her head as she sang a song that was familiar to her even though nothing else was.

You see, I was singing with this lady, as I often did, with Alzheimer’s patients when I worked with the elderly. Even though they could not remember what they had for breakfast; if you sang just the right song, a song that embodied everything that their Lord had done for them, memories came back, emotions came back, lyrics came back. She could not remember that she was married. She could not remember her daughter’s name.

She could not remember she was no longer on the farm, but her voice, singing off-key, yet with much vigor, belted out these words:

“Jesus, I’ll never forget what You’ve done for me. Jesus, I’ll never forget how You set me free. Jesus, I’ll never forget how you’ve brought me out. Jesus, I’ll never forget, no never.”

What was it that she couldn’t forget? She couldn’t forget the one from whom our help comes, from whom our hope lies, from whom our protection from the enemy comes. She couldn’t forget that when trials came she had talked to God, and even now, when sometimes words escaped her, and sometimes thoughts seemed to become jumbled cobwebs, God still recognized the person behind the disease and it did not rob her of His love, protection and grace.

I joined in on the singing, not because I was a great singer, but because I too get joy when I think about what he’s done for me!

He brought me out of the dark existence of sin into His marvelous light! He allowed me to minister to the elderly in my job but be ministered too by them!

He allowed me to see in the nursing home those who may have been robbed of their speech, but not of their praise. Some groaned, knowing the words couldn’t come out, but that the Holy Spirit would help them in their weakness, because we do not know what things to pray for as we should, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. (read Romans 8:26)

There may come a day when I cannot fully remember the mundane things of my life or recognize familiar places or faces, but even if these things happen, I know that deep within my spiritual being, not my physical being, that Jesus, I’ll never forget what you’ve done for me.

The Rev. Tonya Boyce is the executive director of Eternal Grace Ministries of Pine Bluff.

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